Vespa GTS Exhaust Gasket | TECH
If you’re a rally going GTS owner using a standard exhaust there’s every chance you’ve had to replace an exhaust gasket or two. It’s a bit of a weak link in what is otherwise a great long distance scooter and you should always carry a spare…or ditch the standard exhaust to get rid of it once and for all.
The tell-tale sign that your gasket is on its way out is when you notice the scooter making a bit more noise than it used to. Quite often after a long stretch of motorway you’ll roll off the throttle and it’s stopped sounding like a lawn mower (a blessing in itself). I’ve known gaskets to disintegrate after less than 3,000 miles and according to Piaggio it should be inspected or replaced every time the exhaust is removed…a nice extra few quid in the bank for the Italians every time you change a tyre or the oil filter.
The job itself isn’t too taxing, if you can take an exhaust off then you can change a gasket as well so don’t be scared to get your hands dirty. A shop would charge you at least half an hour’s labour to do the job, plus the cost of the gasket.
YOU WILL NEED:
- Socket/driver set
- 8mm Allen head or T40 Torx bit
- Piaggio exhaust gasket (RRP £17)
- Copper grease
- Heat-proof paint
The exhaust needs to come off first, luckily just the silencer rather than the complete system, although it is good practice to loosen it at the header pipe to help avoid stress fractures later on. It’s a common cause of header pipe breakages when using an aftermarket end can. I carry a spare just in case, once bitten twice shy…
Depending on the age of the machine you’ll need to undo either the three retaining torx bolts, or on earlier models the allen bolts. Also loosen the exhaust clamp at the bottom of the header pipe. Then remove the exhaust.
The mesh exhaust gasket sits inside the top end of the exhaust; you should be able to see what looks like wire wool. Just use a flathead screwdriver to pull the old gasket out.
SLUK Tip: Spray penetrant oil (e.g. WD40) on the clamp bolt and let it soak in before attempting removal. This clamp needed replacing, it’d never seen any copper grease or lubricant and would have seized solid.
Always use a new genuine Piaggio exhaust gasket, they cost around £17. Another option is to use an aftermarket aluminium ‘Fit and forget’ gasket. They’re available from places like eBay, although some will need a bit of fettling to fit; which can be more hassle than it’s worth. Our tip, buy genuine if possible.
The clamp end of your exhaust will need opening slightly to fit the new gasket. Piaggio do an expanding tool but if you’re doing this job yourself you can make do by putting a large socket down the exhaust then prising the clamp open using a screwdriver. Just prise the ends apart wide enough to allow the gasket to slide in.
SLUK tip: Don’t put the gasket in this way around, the mesh goes at the top.
You can carefully knock it into place using the palm of your hand, it’s worth spraying the inside of the pipe with a bit of WD-40 to help ease things along. Don’t force the gasket too hard though because it is quite easy to damage. Once in place it should sit flush to the end of the exhaust.
Whilst you’ve got the exhaust off it’s a perfect time to clean it up. Remove the chrome heat shield and use a wire brush to remove any loose paint and rust from the exhaust. Then clean it down using white spirits. Use high temperature paint and either spray or brush paint the exhaust, give it at least a couple of generous coats and allow it to dry.
Once dry, refit the heat shield then put the exhaust back on, you may need to open the clamp a bit further than usual to allow it to slide over the widened end of the exhaust. Copper grease the retaining bolts and clamp to prevent them seizing up. That’s it, job done. Not only is your scooter fixed but you’re also £30 better off.